NEW YORK (Dec. 6)
Alleged Nazi war criminal Tscherim Soobzokov was served yesterday with denaturalization papers by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark and the Justice. Department’s Office of Special Investigations. A resident of Paterson, N.J., Soobzokov, 61, is chief inspector of the Purchasing Department of Passaic County. He is accused of having committed war crimes during the years 1942-45 after he went over to the Nazis when they invaded his home region of Krasnodar in the Trans-Caucausus region of Russia.
Upon entry into the U.S. from Amman, Jordan in 1955, he swore on his visa application that he “was with the German army” from 1942-45. In 1977, Soabzokov brought libel suits of over $10 million against. Howard Blum, author of “Wanted The Search for Nazis in America,” the New York Times, the Times’ book subsidiary and the Literary Guild.
Soobzokov served in the North Caucausus Region created by the Nazis. He is charged with having been a member of a punitive unit that joined the German army and SS in various killing operations, but he denies this. According to the Berlin Documentation Center, on Jan. 4, 1945, Soabzokov was assigned to a unit of the Waffen-SS as an Obersturmfuehrer or 1st Lt.
Before that date “It can be assumed that …(he) performed services with organizations such as SS-Bandenkampfvergaende, SS-Einsatzgruppen or similar irregular forces,” a Berlin Documentation Center analysis states. Einsatzgruppen were mobile killing units whose special targets were Jews, Gypsies, partisans and other civilians.
Articles by Nazi war crimes authority Charles R. Allen, Jr. in the December 1977 and March 1978 issues of Jewish Currents and by investigative reporter Herb Jaffe in a Newark Star-Ledger series in March, April and May 1978, documented Soobzokov’s Nazi past and also his employment by American intelligence agencies.
Government sources credited both the Allen articles and Jeffe’s series with having a great impact on the decision to file denaturalization papers against Soobzokov. Another alleged Nazi war criminal against whom the government filed denaturalization papers last month may also have been used by U.S. intelligence agencies.
OTHER CASES PENDING
Allen says that Karl Linnas, of Greenlawn, N.Y., has been active in political emigre groups such as the Assembly of Captive Nations which has been linked with U.S. intelligence operations. Linnas is the subject of a Freedom of Information Act request by Allen to ascertain if he is one of the 44 alleged Nazi war criminals the FBI admitted utilizing or contacting.
In a March 1978 report, the General Accounting Office of the House of Representatives said that the CIA admitted contacting at least 22 accused Nazi war criminals and employing at least 16. The FBI admitted having “contacted” 44 alleged Nazi war criminals and having employed seven. Allen says he has documented evidence that at least 149 Nazi war criminals have been utilized by U.S. intelligence agencies.
The suits against Soobzokov and Linnas and suits against Wolodimir Osidach of Philadelphia and Bohan Kozly, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., also filed last month, bring the total of active denaturalization and deportation cases against alleged Nazi war criminals to 16. These four are the first new cases that the Justice Department announced since forming its special unit for the investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals in 1974.